We are NOW the most photographed generation ever, carrying cameras around with us 24/7!
...... BUT, only 1 digital photo is printed in every 100,000 pictures taken. SHOCKING statistics!
I really do have my concerns for this digital generation.
Being a photographer for over twenty years I've lived and worked through the transition from film to digital. When I started out my career after getting my photography diploma as a trainee press photographer the world was a very different place from where it is today.
Here's a little about the past (for those who know nothing about the 'ye olde' analog world)
Apart from professional photographers and enthusiasts using expensive film camera equipment, using their own darkroom or handing their rolls over to a photographic laboratory, everyone else generally owed a point a shoot camera that they only took out at special events and holidays. These film point and shoot cameras generally where loaded with 35mm film in which you had a choice of 24 or 36 exposure film (there were any variations of film cameras over the years but 35mm was king the most used during the 70's, 80's and 90's. People really appreciated photo's and where see as precious and worth keeping save.
As there was a cost of the film as well as the processing price, plus you would have to carry multiple rolls of film, people generally where more careful and selective in what they did and did not shoot.
When you filled up your roll of 24 or 36 shots, you took the exposed roll to the chemist and had the film developed, printed and you would collect them within a few days (5-7 days if you wanted the budget price). The package you received would be an envelope with ALL your 4x6" prints (good & bad) with you film negatives for extra reprint, enlargements and to keep safe for future prints. People would put these prints into photo albums, frames so they and their friends and families could enjoy in their home as well as the many years to come.
Back to the future .... drowning in digital
It is estimated today that 1 out of 100,000 images taken will be printed. People now don't have take in to consideration the cost or the amount of images they are taking - rather the amount of storage space left and battery life of the device. As a wedding photographer I shoot thousands of images during a wedding and then select the all the best images and cull down them down to a manageable amount. The problem about having tens of thousands of images is that it is overwhelming and selecting some to be printed is very difficult. The old saying to true 'less is more'. I also think that just the scale of the amount of images all around us is diluting our relationship with photography and the importance of it.
As a photographer I truly believe that photography needs to be enjoyed, saved in the printed form. Viewing a photo on a mobile, tablet, computer screen is beautiful during that moment but once that computer is turned off it's forgotten about and a lot of the time never to be seen again as it's lost in the digital ocean.
A huge proportion of the digital generation relies solely on the cloud, computers, storage media, hard drives and companies like Facebook, Instagram to save and catalog their lives.
With hard drives as well as computers it's not 'IF' but 'WHEN' they fail. Media storage options like CD's, DVD's and UBS memory sticks are still used today (just) as most computers not don't have these drives built in anymore so how are you going to view them in the years ahead?? Facebook and Instagram are very popular for posting photo's on but in tens years they may not be around and hackers are a real threat to security, causing problems and deleting accounts.
Advice time.....for what it's worth.
When taking photo's don't go crazy taking sooo many. Take your time, compose the picture and take the best photo for the few you've taken and delete the rest. Then print them ..... Here's the key - print regularly. If you don't print on a regular basis they'll just not get round to being printed at all. Preserve in print - in frames, albums, digital books etc. As long as it's NOT JUST in digital format.
Download all the images that you have on your social media, save, select the best and print them now.
There's a lot of inexpensive options out there you can have in the home. I use the CANON SELPHY PRINTER for all my day to day photo's from my mobile etc. It's tiny and prints out excellent 4x6" images and you can print directly from your mobile as well. Very easy & cheap. Here's a link to canon website specs: - LINK
Digital is cheap. Cameras were everywhere. REAL Photographs don't seem that important now, photography is all around us 24/7 and it's lost it's value somewhat........ But there is no better way to enjoy your life time memories and keep them print safe for the years ahead.
DELETED!! My greatest concern is that in 10 years time this digital generation will not have any records of the amazing moments and memories (not selfies) that are happening in their lives now.